Saturday, September 02, 2006

There is a season...

It has always been true. Just as the spring of childhood gives way to the summer of youth and summer gives way to the fall of middle age, autumn will eventually yield to the winter...the time of the king and the crone. It has always been true for the planet. It has always been true for the body. It has always been true for the soul.

I enjoyed an hour off Bradford Beach yesterday. The wind has been from the east for a while (it does that as fall approaches) and the shallows were sporting 3-4 waves, some dumpers. Back and forth I went, taking them on the beam, often by simply edging a bit into them, occassionally offering a brief low brace. It was pure play and fun as I enjoyed the unusually warm waters only an on shore wind can bring to the Lake Michigan shore. I enjoyed it as I packed away more memories for the winter ahead.

As I carried my boat up the beach, then up the little incline, then onto my car, I felt tired. Too tired for the little work I'd done. It took a bit of time for my heart rate to come down, and I listened (as I always have) to the message my body was sending: Winter is coming sooner than later.

I speak, of course, not of the climate but, rather, of the inevitable winter of the soul. At 65, I remain fairly fit (5'9" 170 pounds). My flexibility is still fair, and I can "kiss the deck" on a forward finishing roll. And it all gets a bit harder with each cycle of the seasons.

This is not meant as a maudlin piece but, rather, a celebration of all the blessings of a life (so far) fully being lived. I think back at all the illnesses, the injuries and the rare surgery that didn't kill me and made me tougher. I know that if I do too much of that remembering in a rocking chair that I will, one day too soon, not be able to get back up. That truth doesn't scare me. It just reminds me of who I am and in which season I live.

Perhaps it is a good thing that Lady Linda and I are about to depart on a 2 week vacation. Perhaps it is a good thing that we will be doing a lot of walking and that I will not be in a boat for all that time. Perhaps I will discover new endurance while muscles heavily used get a rest.

I know that the season will turn while I am away and that I will face colder air and, soon, colder waters. (And I will get older as well). And, when it does, I must remember that the seasons do turn and turn endlessly and that winter will, eventually, give way to spring and summer, no matter how old I am or feel.

While I am away, I will write whenever I find internet access. I will make every effort to share images of where I go. Meanwhile...

Paddle safe...

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